Wednesday, 20 May 2009

A horrible Wednesday, as I got robbed...!

As we're busy settling everything in place for Peter's work and for our life in Jakarta, the last thing we want besides all the chaos, slow progress and lack of efficiency in all aspects here, is something that's worse. And it did happened in our case. just this Wednesday (May20), I was robbed on the street by a man riding a scooter, in Kemang area(where with relatively more westerners).

I still can't remember the man's face, what he wears, his scooter license plate number, or even what the scooter was like. Call me an idiot to not have reacted faster, but for anyone who had been robbed and at that split of a second, they know they're too confused to realize what happened, and it's no exception for me. When I called for help, no one could understand me and they all walked from in the buildings, trying to understand what had just happened.

But I remember those vicious eyes, which I've never seen before in my whole life. It was a scary moment.

Everything in my handbag is robbed - money, mobile, notebooks, passport & residence permit etc. I thought I was very fortunate, after going to the police station for the record and later at home, when a guy called and claimed he accidentally found my passport. And so my maid Julia and my driver Sudriyanto go to pick it up from him in Pondok Indah, thinking he was just a random guy. But they were redirected to an empty building in another different place. It turned out the guy was with the robber, if not the robber himself. There were three people, one even in in security guard uniform. Julia and Sudriyanto pretended to be police officers and negotiated with them. Eventually they got my handbag back, after paying more money.

On the way back to my home, after getting out of the police station, I tried keeping myself calm. I kept telling myself this must be god's way of telling me to be careful wherever I go, no matter how peaceful and innocent the situation looks. I also thought hope whoever got my money actually need it, whether for a sick mother, children's school fee, or even for just the rent. I kept thinking that was a form of Buddhism ideal, as my cousin Paula says - one of the million ways of helping people in the world.

A reminder to self and to everyone: when on the street, hold your hand bag in the opposite side away from the vehicle lane. In other words, if the lane is on your right side, hold your handbag tight on your left side and vise versa. Pay attention to empty street or light traffic road, as it's where the robber can get away more easily than say a crowded traffic. Or, simply don't take lots of cash with you in the hand bag.

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